Global Solar Leaders and UNEP Outline Central Role for Solar in Climate Solution at UN Climate Change Conference in Poland
Poznan, Poland, 8 December, 2008 - Heads of three leading international solar companies and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) today issued a joint statement at the UN Climate Change Conference to propose the rapid implementation and expansion of policies designed to support the growth of the solar industry and the global adoption of solar technology as a major contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction in support of global climate goals.
Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Suntech's Chairman and CEO, Jeremy Leggett, Executive Chairman of Solarcentury, Mike Ahearn, Chairman and CEO of First Solar, and Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director stated that: "Solar technology is no longer a niche energy solution, but is already reaching the scale and cost points to fundamentally change the way we generate electricity. As a result of substantial investments over the past five years, the solar industry has dramatically improved solar technologies and established roadmaps for further cost reductions. In fact, electricity generated from solar installations is already reaching parity with peak energy and retail energy prices in many regions."
"Now is the time for world leaders, businesses and communities to build the platform for solar to be adopted on a much greater scale. This will not only improve energy autonomy, but also serve to mitigate GHG emissions and deliver an economically viable solution to climate change. We believe that the global climate change deal agreed to in Copenhagen at the end of 2009 should include concrete targets and policies for a rapid transition to solar in the coming decades."
The group encouraged the adoption of a set of major climate and energy policies to enable solar to make a significant contribution toward GHG-reduction and economic-development goals, including:
- Stringent, ambitious, international and national carbon regulation policies;
- Enforceable renewables mandates with a solar carve out or credit multiplier for solar energy;
- Near-term incentives that could include feed-in tariffs, partial rebates, tax credits and/or property-based loans; and
- Favorable net metering, interconnection, permitting and land-use policies.
Dr. Zhengrong Shi, Chairman and CEO of Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd, said: "China has set ambitious, long-term national goals that have helped to create a backdrop for a growing renewable energy industry such as a national renewable energy standard of 15 percent by 2020; a commitment to invest US$180 billion in renewable energy by 2020; and aggressive energy efficiency standards for buildings. At the same time, China has incubated many solar companies, such as Suntech, and is now the third-largest source of solar PV products for the global market."
Jeremy Leggett, Executive Chairman of Solarcentury, said: "When you consider that in Europe around half of all emissions come from buildings, directly and indirectly, you get a sense of how excited we are about our industry's ability to contribute in the fight against global warming. Solarcentury will be publishing a book next year presenting a vision of the future, and mapping the emerging solar revolution. We are calling it "The Solar Century," because that is what the twenty-first century has to be."
Mike Ahearn, Chairman and CEO of First Solar, said: "The photovoltaic industry is much closer to generating affordable solar power than most people realize. In the last 4 years, First Solar has lowered the cost of manufacturing our modules by two-thirds and the company is now the world's largest manufacturer of thin firm photovoltaic solar modules. Led by California and New Jersey, over half of the states in the U.S. have adopted renewable portfolio standards, which together with favorable tax incentives and other policies, has emerged as an important driver in increasing solar power generation."READ FULL TEXT
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